Ayana Mathis

Earlier this year, Room editor Yvonne Robertson spoke with Ayana Mathis about her novel, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie. With a poetic hand, and the Great Migration and promise of a new America as a theme, Mathis writes a captivating story about motherhood, visibility, and the resilience of the human spirit. The following is an engaging and inspiring conversation about creative writing, identity and representation, family and religion, and the transformative power of fiction.

Reading Room

This is what I can tell you: On a June night in 1986, my mother drinks from a tall glass of ice water. The radio might be on. If it is on, she is listening to Patti or Luther or The Pointer Sisters or Whitney. She might be singing, voice off-key but still rising proudly up her throat.

it’s a drunkintheafternoon kind of day
wrung out acronyms come up on my keyboard
instead of my sister’s name

he traces the tattoo
of Africa on my back
tells me how he wants
to go back to Sierra Leone

a targeted destination
a point of no return
a place for rehabilitation
that we may never earn

divisive powers
dispirit by dispossession
devour our way of living
as we map through marginalization

“Baby Food” is the honourable mention of Room’s Short Forms Contest 2018 as selected by judge Hiromi Goto.

Currently on Newsstands

  • Room 41.4, Emergence
    Edited by Alissa McArthur

    In this issue:

    Tharuna Abbu, Farah Ali, Kristin Bjornerud, Michelle Chen, Nomi Chi, Morgan Christie, Kim Fu, Hannah Graff, nancy viva davis halifax, Ceilidh Isadore, Liz Kellebrew, Jo Lee, Kris Ly, Melanie Mah, Sara Mang, Katie McGarry, Estlin McPhee, Triin Paja, Loghan Paylor, Nagmeh Phelan, Oubah Osman, Lisa Rawn, Yvonne Robertson, Erika Thorkelson, Cara Waterfall

    .

Interview Room

Eden Robinson

A series in which Isabella is excited about everything that is happening at Growing Room 2019, so she sat down with some festival authors to hear about their work, and what events they are most excited to take part in. Learn more about the 2019 Growing Room festival by visiting our website, festival.roommagazine.com.

Arielle Twist

A series in which Isabella is excited about everything that is happening at Growing Room 2019, so she sat down with some festival authors to hear about their work, and what events they are most excited to take part in.

Catherine Hernandez looking sideways into the camera.

Room’s Annual Fiction Contest is now open until March! First place winner will receive $1,000 and be published in an upcoming issue of Room. This year, short stories will be judged by Catherine Hernandez. Catherine Hernandez is the artistic director of b current performing arts and the award-winning author of Scarborough (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2017). Room's Tamara Jong asks her a few questions about her work, her advice for emerging writers, and what she looks for when judging a contest.

Reviews

Whatever, Iceberg book cover a mostly-submerged iceberg

Whatever, Iceberg chronicles an all-too-familiar queer romance interwoven with polyamory, single parenting, chronic pain, poverty, and aging. Despite the specificity of Ziniuk’s writing, the collection remains relatable for anyone who has ever been in a badly timed romance or burned by a lover.

I'm Not Here book cover

While reading GG’s new graphic novel, I’m Not Here, I was reminded of a short story by Delmore Schwartz, in which the narrator goes into a cinema and, much to their amazement and dismay, f

Don't Tell Me What To Do book cover

Each of the fifteen stories, mostly populated by female protagonists at less-than-perfect moments in their lives, show the work of a generous writer committed to creating characters unapologetically being themselves in all their flawed, misguided glory.

Room with a View

Abena Beloved Green

7 Black Nova Scotian Writers You Should Be Reading

In addition to Afua Cooper and Shauntay Grant, two of the writers featured in “20 Black Writers to Read All Year Round”, Nova Scotia has been home to many Black poets and novelists. Here is a list of some of our favourite emerging and established writers from the African Nova Scotian community. (Photo: Abena Beloved Green).

Chimedum Ohaegbu

We Got Next: Emerging Black Writers You Should Be Paying Attention To

At Room, we don’t just look to the past but we also look to the future and it’s looking very bright. Here are some of our favourite black emerging writers who you should be paying attention to. Image: Chimedum Ohaegbu.